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🙏 Content Heaven, Content Hell 🔥 #1

Alan Wanders
Alan Wanders
Hi everyone,
First off, this is email #1 from me, so thanks for being one of my first subscribers!
I’m taking a couple of hours every other week to write this email because I think B2B content is about to get interesting.
I reckon there’ll be less focus on transactional info sharing, and more on entertaining, making people feel like they’re part of a club, and showing you know who they are outside of work. B2C stuff, basically.
I think that because… well, why wouldn’t it be true?
Putting out content that shows you know your audience inside-out, in-office and out-of-office, is the best way to make them care about what you do.
Sound a bit abstract? Good, these emails will bring it all to life 😉
Every two weeks you’ll find a naff content practice you can bin forever, and a new content idea to spend time on instead.

🙏 Content Heaven - Records and Cans
I’ll set the scene. You’re sitting at your desk, clicking through B2B design portfolios. The work is professional, it all looks the part. But it’s a bit samey.
You go home, put a record on, and open a beer. You open your laptop again, meaning to take a look at those portfolios. Instead you get distracted by the eye-catching designs on your record sleeve and the can of beer in your hand.
They’re not like anything you’ve seen before. They’re from a designer who’s never been asked to copy Slack’s homepage. They’re an opportunity to get your B2B brand noticed.
Designs for consumer goods like craft beers and records are more interesting because these orgs live or die based on how successfully their brand’s creative makes their audience feel part of something.
But wait - these attitudes exist in B2B too. Whether it’s Jira or Notion, the tools you choose say a lot about you, and that’s part of the reason you recommend them to others.
Differentiated, non-B2B-like content is a great way to show your audience you ‘get them’ and get them to stand behind your brand.
Here’s how to make it happen with designers from other, more interesting industries:
  1. Find out what your customers care about outside of work. Just ask them. What’s the pattern?
  2. As soon as you find a creative industry that your clients are into, do your research. Search Behance for the designers behind the brands they care about. If you go down the music route, search Discogs.
  3. Test a few basic page mock-ups with your target audience. Do they get excited by them? Are they too divisive?
  4. Commit and put the designs live as part of a trial campaign.
  5. Let me know how it goes 🙂
🔥 Content Hell - The Cranberries need to shut up
I love The Cranberries’ first album, everyone does. I’m glad that its singles linger on commercial radio nearly 30 years later.
I just don’t like the name of it, because it reminds me of my internal monologue at work.
Whenever I see something decent a competitor’s put live I think ‘Dammit, why aren’t we doing that!?’
Most content marketers are hyper-critical of their blind spots. Or at least they think they are. Really, they’re just paranoid.
You’re not seeing your competitor’s strategy, you’re just seeing part of their output. And copying the output of a strategy you don’t understand could be a big waste of your time.
But if everyone’s doing (for example) a podcast, surely something is going right, and you’re missing out by not doing the same?
Yes, potentially. But it helps to reframe ‘everyone’s doing it’ as two separate things, one good, one bad.
  1. The Good ‘Everybody’s doing it’: A change in audience behaviours means that your prospects are consuming information in a new way (like a podcast).
  2. The Bad ‘Everybody’s doing it’: Some brand is clearly having success with a certain content format, and lots of other brands are piling in with their own version (like a podcast about B2B Growth)
Number 1 is a great reason to start a new content format. Number 2… you’ve already lost.
If you can create a content that harnesses emerging audience behaviours and at the same time satisfies their unmet demands… well then congratulations, you’ve laid a golden egg.
Go for it. Soon everybody else will be doing it too.
TL;DR
  • Content Heaven 🙏 Use designers from your customers’ favourite indie industries
  • Content Hell 🔥 Do something just because your competitors are doing it too
👉 Over to you
There are two ways you can help. Either would be amazing.
  1. Forward this on to someone who you think would like it
  2. Reply and let me know what you thought of it
Thanks, and see you in two weeks!
Alan
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Alan Wanders
Alan Wanders

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